There aren't many people left in Hong Kong who are as brave and determined as Kalai Leung.

Friends often ask her why she still works as a journalist at all.

"They think it's pointless and that I should rather sell flowers," says Leung.

Some have turned their backs on her because they fear problems if they are associated with a journalist.

Until a year ago, Leung was still part of the social mainstream.

She worked as a senior reporter at Apple Daily, one of the city's largest-circulation newspapers.

Then the police forced the publishing house to close.

Founder Jimmy Lai and his senior staff are in prison.

More than a thousand journalists have been sacked in Hong Kong in just a few months.

You now work as a delivery driver,

at McDonald's or in the advertising industry.

Others have fled abroad.

Friederike Böge

Political correspondent for China, North Korea and Mongolia.

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But Kalai Leung doesn't want to give up.

Sitting in a bar in front of a glass of white wine, her tattooed arms propped on the table, she explains why.

The journalist runs her own website with 400 paying subscribers.

"I can do this because I don't have children," she says.

Leung sees herself as a documentarian of a Hong Kong that no longer exists.

She reports on the trials of the young activists who were seen as heroes during the mass protests of 2019 and are now rarely visited in prison.

She says, "I want to write down their stories so they don't feel like they've thrown away condoms." She lives with the knowledge that the police could be at her door at some point.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Hong Kong this week.

The occasion is the 25th anniversary of the return of the former British crown colony to China on July 1, 1997. In his speech on Friday he will describe the suppression of the democracy movement as a great success.

From his point of view, it is the belated return of a rebellious child to the bosom of the motherland.

The local police will goose step in front of the head of state for the first time.

The parade steps are actually a trademark of the Chinese military.

With their legs flying high, the police officers are supposed to demonstrate that a new era has begun in Hong Kong and that they have shaken off the last remnants of their British socialization.

Only two percent feel primarily Chinese

Actually, the 25th anniversary should only have been halfway.

In a treaty with Britain, China had pledged to grant Hong Kong “a high degree of autonomy” for 50 years and not to interfere with its “way of life”.

But with a single law, the National Security Law, Beijing has silenced Hong Kong's once-vibrant civil society.

Prior to his arrival, Xi Jinping said he felt "deep affection" for Hong Kong.

Love is not mutual.

According to a recent survey, only 2 percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 primarily identify as Chinese and 76 percent as Hong Kongers.

The data comes from the city's leading polling institute, PORI.

The fact that they are published shows that Hong Kong is not yet a Chinese city like any other.

The question is for how much longer.

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